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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Shadwell (LSD-15)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Alpha - Hotel
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 24 January 1945)
Second Row - Navy Expeditionary Medal (1-Cuba) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1)
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal
fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Cuba, 1 Dominican Republic) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal (1)

Individual Awards

Purple Heart (3-WIA, 24 January 1945)

Casa Grande Class Dock Landing Ship:
  • Authorized under the Lend-Lease Act as British Mechanized Artillery Transport Tomahawk (BAPM-7)
  • Reclassified Landing Ship Dock LSD-15, 1 July 1942
  • Contract awarded for LSD-15 to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA., 10 September 1942
  • Assigned the name HMS Tomahawk, date unknown
  • Renamed by the United Kingdom HMS Waterway (F-146), date unknown
  • Lend-Lease canceled or modified never commissioned in Royal Navy
  • Laid down as Shadwell 17 January 1944
  • Launched 14 May 1944
  • Commissioned USS Shadwell (LSD-15), 24 July 1944, LCDR. William K. Brooks in command
  • During World War II, USS Shadwell was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 9 January 1945

  • Following World War II USS Shadwell was assigned to Occupation service from 2 September 1945 to 15 April 1946
  • Decommissioned, 10 July 1947, at Orange, TX.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet Texas Group, Orange
  • Recommissioned, 20 September 1950, at Orange, TX.
  • Decommissioned, 9 March 1970, at US Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, VA.
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 November 1976
  • USS Shadwell earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Ex-Shadwell was in the custody of the Naval Research Laboratory/Office of Naval Research, Fire Research Det. Little Sands Island Mobile Bay, Mobile AL. as the US Navy damage control test ship
  • Final Disposition, dismantled, scrapping completed in February 2018.
    Specifications: (as reported by Office of Naval Intelligence, 7 April 1944)
    Displacement 4,032 (light draft), 7,930 (seagoing - loaded)
    Length 457' 9" o.a.
    Beam 72"
    8' 2 ½" fwd, 10' ½" aft (light draft)
    15' 5 ½" fwd, 16' 2" aft (seagoing loaded)
    Speed 17 kts (design speed)
    Endurance 8,000 miles @ 15 knots
    Officers 17
    Enlisted 237
    Troop Accommodations
    Officers 22
    Enlisted 218
    Well Deck Capacity (varies with mission)
    three LCT (Mk V or VI) each w/ 5 medium tanks or
    two LCT (Mk III or IV) each w/ 12 medium tanks or
    fourteen LCM (Mk III) each w/ 1 medium tank or 1, 500 long tons cargo or
    forty-seven DUKW or
    forty-one LVT or
    Any combination of landing vehicles and landing craft up to capacity
    Aircraft (still in commission in late 40's or early 50's) were fitted/retro-fitted with a prefabricated steel grated "Portable Deck" suspended between the wing walls and supported by removable I-beam girders. The aft end of the portable deck contained a wooden helicopter platform, enabling the ship to land and launch 1 helicopter at a time. Stowage of helicopters was limited to capacity of the portable deck installed for the mission. Aircraft servicing was limited to re-fueling. With portable deck and aircraft platform installed, the Landing ship, dock was still capable of transporting, launching and repairing smaller amphibious craft and vehicles up to the size of a Landing craft, utility (LCU) in their well decks.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount in open tub (w/director)
    two quad 40mm AA gun mounts (w/directors)
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts (w/directors)
    sixteen single 20mm AA gun mounts (local control)
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 11,720 Bbls
    Diesel 160 Bbls
    Gasoline 5,085 Gals
    two Newport News Shipbuilding steam turbines
    two Babcock and Wilcox oil fired D-type boilers, two drum, single furnace, single uptake, 250psi
    single Newport New Main Reduction Gears
    two turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship' Service Generators
    twin propellers, 7,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Shadwell - was the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson, and the main plantation of his father, Peter Jefferson. Located in Albemarle County, Virginia, it was named after the parish in London where Jane Randolph Jefferson was born. (Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia)
    Tommy Trampp
    Shadwell 26k USS Shadwell (LSD-15) under way, date and location unknown.  
    Shadwell 71k USS Shadwell (LSD-15) under way, date and location unknown.  
    Shadwell 101k USS Shadwell (LSD-15) under way, date and location unknown.  
    Shadwell 50k USS Shadwell (LSD-15) in the Arctic ice, circa 1951-1953.  
    399k A Sikorsky UH-34D Seabat helicopter landing aboard USS Shadwell (LSD-15), circa 1960s.
    U.S. Navy photo from USS Shadwell (LSD-15)'s Decommissioning Ceremony Program, 9 March 1970.
    Robert Hurst
    Shadwell 122k USS Shadwell (LSD-15) 1960-1961 Mediterranean Cruise book (cover only) Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Shadwell 1353k USS Shadwell (LSD-15) moored at Genoa, Italy, 1 January 1961. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    186k USS Shadwell (LSD-15) crew mans the rails while underway in the Mediterranean Sea, June 1968.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # K-51142
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Shadwell 89k Ex-USS Shadwell (LSD-15) grounded on Little Sand Island in Mobile Bay, AL., as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Photo from "Marine" Ron Reeves
    Shadwell 153k Ex-USS Shadwell (LSD-15) serving as the US Navy damage control test ship moored at the Naval Research Laboratory/Office of Naval Research, Fire Research Det. Little Sands Island Mobile Bay, Mobile AL., 2007. Ron Reeves
    Shadwell 48k
    Shadwell 81k Ex-USS Shadwell (LSD-15) serving as the US Navy damage control test ship moored at the Naval Research Laboratory/Office of Naval Research, Fire Research Det. Little Sands Island Mobile Bay, Mobile AL., 2014. Ron Reeves
    130k The Naval Research Laboratory's decommissioned U.S. Navy Landing Ship Dock Ex-USS Shadwell, 5 November 2014. Ex-Shadwell serveed as the Navy's full-scale damage control research, development, test and evaluation platform. Moored in Mobile Bay, AL., the ship is regularly set ablaze in controlled demonstrations to test firefighting technologies, tactics and procedures and damage control practices to improve the safety of operational Navy and civilian shipboard firefighting measures.
    U.S. Navy photo 141105-N-PO203-381 by John F. Williams.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Shadwell (LSD-15)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Brooks, William Kerr (Wild Bill), USNR24 July 1944 - 1946
     Decommissioned10 July 1947 - 20 September 1950
    02CDR. Clark, Francis Edward, USN (USNA 1953)1952 - 1953
    03CDR. Lee, C. G.1953 - October 1954
    04CDR. Gehman, Harold Webster, USN (USNA 1939) October 1954 - March 1956
    05CDR. Hardcastle, Orville Edward, USNMarch 1956 - 19 October 1957
    06CDR. Opeil, Leonard Joseph, USN19 October 1957 - January 1959
    07CDR. Morrison, William Fisher, USN (USNA 1935) :RADMJanuary 1959 - 1959?
    08CDR. Blee, Ben Ward USN1959 - 12 January 1960
    09CDR. Grader, Donald Lee, USN12 January 1960 - 19 April 1961
    10CDR. Mikulich, John Louis, USN19 April 1961 - 19 April 1963
    11CDR. Heard, Jack Fariss, USN19 April 1963 - 1 August 1964
    12CDR. Lindsey Jr., Wesley Elvin, USN (USNA 1949)1 August 1964 - 15 December 1965
    13CDR. Hardgrave Sr., James Barton, USN15 December 1965 - 1968
    14CDR. Hansen, Norman Thomas, USN1968 - 1 July 1969
    15CDR. Allen, Lester Lee relieved (collision with USS Cambria)1 July 1969 - 17 July 1959
    16CDR. Gallagher, Lawrence Edward, USN (temporary)17 July 1969 - 20 August 1969
    17CDR. Miner, Duane Albert, USN20 August 1969- 9 March 1970
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Commissioning Ceremony Program
    Decommissioning Ceremony Program
    Shadwell Public Release article "Ex-USS Shadwell Disposal Wreck in Place"
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 10 November 2023